UTC: Utility spending on telecom could reach $3.2B
The nation's utilities could spend at least $3.2 billion on telecommunications equipment and services this year, according to a study released by the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC). This level of communications spending represents a 21% increase over the estimated $2.64 billion utilities spent in 2009 and at least a 3% rise over the $3.1 billion spent in 2010.
The report, “Utilities Telecom Spending Market Forecast,” is based on an extensive survey of UTC’s utility members and provides detailed data regarding utility spending on transport networks, leased lines, land mobile radio and other key communications technologies. Chief among the categories of telecom-related spending is advanced two-way metering and associated networking, which represents around 32% or around $1 billion of the total utility telecom spending in 2011, the study finds. The second-largest category of telecom spending is transport networks, with utilities expected to spend around $813 million on fiber, microwave, WiMax and other forms of transport technology this year.
However, wireless communications is the major growth area for utility telecommunications. Spending on wireless communications as a proportion of overall telcom spending could double over the next five years, growing from 28% of telecom spending in 2011 to half (50%) of all telecom spending in 2016, according to the research.